SILICON VALLEY READS
Invisible Wounds of War
Riveting novels selected for Silicon Valley Reads 2013
The Long Walk
Brian Castner served three tours of duty in the Middle East, two of them as the commander of an Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit in Iraq. Days and nights he and his team-his brothers-would venture forth in heavily armed convoys from their Forward Operating Base to engage in the nerve-racking yet strangely exhilarating work of either disarming the deadly improvised explosive devices that had been discovered, or picking up the pieces when the alert came too late. They relied on an army of remote-controlled cameras and robots, but if that technology failed, a technician would have to don the eighty-pound Kevlar suit, take the Long Walk up to the bomb, and disarm it by hand. This lethal game of cat and mouse was, and continues to be, the real war within America's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
But The Long Walk is not just about battle itself. It is also an unflinching portrayal of the toll war exacts on the men and women who are fighting it. When Castner returned home to his wife and family, he began a struggle with a no less insidious foe, an unshakable feeling of fear and confusion and survivor's guilt that he terms The Crazy. His thrilling, heartbreaking, stunningly honest book immerses the reader in two harrowing and simultaneous realities: the terror and excitement and camaraderie of combat, and the lonely battle against the enemy within-the haunting memories that will not fade, the survival instincts that will not switch off. After enduring what he has endured, can there ever again be such a thing as "normal"?
To hear an excerpt from this book, click here:
Minefields of the Heart
How do combat veterans and their loved ones bridge the divide that war, by its very nature, creates between them? How does someone who has fought in a war come home, especially after a tour of duty marked by near-daily mortar attacks, enemy fire, and roadside bombs? With a journalist's eye and a mother's warmth, Sue Diaz asks these questions as she chronicles the two deployments to Iraq of her son, Sgt. Roman Diaz, from the perspective of the home front.
Diaz recounts the emotional rollercoaster her family and other soldiers' families experience during and after deployment. She explores this terrain not only through stories of her son's and family's experiences connected to the Iraq War, but also by insights she's gained from other veterans' accounts--from what she calls "the box" that soldiers returning from any war carry within. This added layer gives her narrative broader meaning, bringing home the impact of war in general on those who fight and on those who love them.
To hear an excerpt from the book, click here:
For more information on these books & 2013 Silicon Valley Reads
events, visit www.siliconvalleyreads.org.
Free Silicon Valley Reads events will be scheduled throughout Santa Clara County in February and March 2013.
2013 is the 11th year of the Silicon Valley Reads program which is
presented by the Santa Clara County Library, the Santa Clara County
Office of Education, and the San Jose Public Library Foundation.